Grove Scene by John Crome. Photo (c) Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service (Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery) The Salley Gardens. Down by the Salley Gardens is a well-known Irish folk song – just one of the collection arranged by Benjamin Britten, and published in Words by William. Down by the Salley Gardens has an unusual background for a song that has passed including Rebecca Clarke, John Ireland and Benjamin Britten also set the.
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Down by the Salley Gardens has an unusual background for a song that has passed into the Irish folk music tradition.
6. The Salley Gardens – Britten-Pears Foundation
Nevertheless, it has become one of the most recorded Irish songs of all time and has attracted the attention of performers from widely different musical backgrounds. Ironically, considering it was written by a great poet regarded by many as a literary genius, the song is one of the simplest you will find anywhere in the Irish music repertoire.
It all ends in tears. We are not told why but the presumption is that he tried to move too fast and so frightened her away.
In a note on the poem, sallye said that he was trying to reconstruct an old song he had heard being sung by a woman in the village of Ballisodare in Sligo. He could only remember a few lines but acknowledged his debt to the original version by calling his new poem, An Old Song Re-sung. It was only changed to the Salley Gardens when it was published again in in his collection, Poems.
The song that Yeats heard the old woman singing was almost certainly the old Irish tune, You Rambling Boys of Pleasure. Its second verse contains the lines:. I spied this pretty fair maid and these words to me she did say.
But I was young and foolish and with my darling could not agree. The words are very similar to Down by the Salley Gardens and it seems safe to assume that You Rambling Boys of Pleasure was the song Yeats heard being sung by the old woman.
It refers to the young woman changing her mind about the relationship and money is said to play a part. Down by the Salley Gardens gives no specific reason for the failure of the relationship, and the effect may be stronger as we are left to make up our own minds. Down by the Salley Gardens was written as a poem and remained that way until when Herbert Hughes set it to music using the old Irish melody, The Maids of Mourne Shore.
Salley or sally comes from the Gaelic word saileach which means willow. The Salley Gardens ssalley simply means willow gardens. Slender shoots of willow were used to bind thatched roofs and so it was common to find small willow plantations close to villages in Ireland.
As well as providing willow shoots for thatching, they doubled up as a meeting place for young lovers. McGinty and Beitten represent Derry.
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Down by the Salley Gardens – tale of unrequited love
Down by the Salley Gardens — tale of unrequited love. Why does Ireland have such a high percentage of red-haired people compared to the rest of the Western world? Is it from the Celts or could the Vikings be responsible?
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